John Obi Mikel has sensationally claimed former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would never look for the positives in his performances.

Mourinho was axed by the Blues in December after overseeing the club’s worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.

He was replaced by Guus Hiddink at the helm and the Dutchman immediately turned to Mikel to help sure up the Chelsea midfield.

Mikel, who had only made five league appearances this term prior to Hiddink’s arrival, has looked a man re-born in front of the Blues back-four at Stamford Bridge.

His relationship with Mourinho had become strained and the Nigeria international reckons the Special One had been giving him no encouragement in west London.

“I think confidence is everything, if a manager doesn’t believe in you, trust me there’s no way you can succeed,” he told

Pain: Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel reacts

“Even if you do things right he would always make sure he finds fault.

“He didn’t have the belief that he had in me before, which is fine because every manager has the player that they have trust in.

“It is a tough business, football, so when a manager comes in he wants to have people he believes in. If he doesn’t believe in you he doesn’t play you.

“I think it’s all about a manager giving a player confidence.”

Chelsea return to action after the international break with a visit to relegation favourites Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.

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